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articles | 02 June 2014

BoC Chief Hourican eyes London Bank float

The former boss of RBS investment banking arm and now CEO of Bank of Cyprus is eyeing a London listing for the Cypriot lender he hauled back from the brink of collapse.

According to Sky News a London share listing for Bank of Cyprus is one of a range of options that will be considered by John Hourican, who took over as its chief executive last October.

Such a move is unlikely for at least 12 months but if it proceeded, would bring one of the City's former top investment bankers back to the Square Mile.

Mr Hourican quit RBS at the beginning of last year following its settlement with financial regulators over the bank's role in the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

He was forced to surrender millions of pounds-worth of share options when he left despite an acknowledgement by authorities and RBS bosses that he had no knowledge of or involvement in any misconduct.

Mr Hourican joined Bank of Cyprus with a mandate to conduct an urgent restructuring in the wake of the country's bailout and the seizure of a proportion of depositors' savings.

In February, it reported a €2 billion loss for 2013, a vast sum in the context of the size of Cyprus's economy, marking the bank's third consecutive annual loss.

Speaking to the Reuters news agency in March, Mr Hourican confirmed the appointment of HSBC to advise him on the structure of the bank.

"What I'd like is to reopen the entire option list for the bank - do we continue with the plan we currently have? Is there a possibility of a more formal good bank/bad bank [structure]? Is there another set of options we could approach in terms of accelerating our restructuring plan?" he said.

A spokeswoman for Bank of Cyprus, which is due to report first-quarter results, declined to comment.

Source: Yahoo Finance

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